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Bears Name Jeetan Patel as Skipper for Vitality Blast

Bears Name Jeetan Patel as Skipper for Vitality Blast
Bears Name Jeetan Patel as Skipper for Vitality Blast

Birmingham Bears have named Jeetan Patel as skipper ahead of the 2019 Vitality Blast campaign following the retirement of fellow New Zealand international Grant Elliott at the end of last season.

Patel (38) has taken 124 T20 wickets for the Bears, at an average of 23.25, and has been an integral member of the squad that has reached Finals day in three of the last five years, and which won the competition in 2014.

Jim Troughton, Birmingham Bears First Team Coach, said: “Jeets is an outstanding leader and having already been appointed Warwickshire captain in Championship and one-day cricket in 2018, it’s the ideal fit for the team that he leads us into this season’s Vitality Blast.

“His leadership skills have been prominent since he arrived at Edgbaston in 2009, and he has always provided great support to the team; something which I experienced first-hand as captain between 2011 and 2013.

“He’s still widely recognised as one of the leading bowlers in the competition and we look forward to welcoming Jeets back to Edgbaston as Bears captain for all formats in the coming days.”

The 2019 Vitality Blast will be Patel’s tenth T20 campaign for the Bears, having played two spells in 2009 and 2011 before becoming a permanent fixture in the squad in 2012.

“Our approach to T20 cricket as a club has changed a lot in my time with Bears and I’m really excited to be taking over as captain for the coming season,” said Patel.

“On the field, our young players have come in and played some tremendous, attacking cricket. It’s great to be part of this and we’re also seeing bigger crowds coming along to Edgbaston and getting behind us.

“Nothing beats playing in-front of a big crowd at Edgbaston and I’m looking forward to the season ahead and hopefully leading us to another home Finals Day.”

© Cricket World 2019